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The Ad Council Names Elise James-DeCruise Chief Equity Officer

Industry veteran will lead the Ad Council’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts

New York, NY, April 5, 2021 - The Ad Council today announced that Elise James-DeCruise has been named the organization’s first Chief Equity Officer. In this role, James-DeCruise will oversee the organization’s ongoing commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion—ultimately informing every aspect of the Ad Council’s mission, workplace culture and public-facing communications.

James-DeCruise brings over 20 years of experience in leading strategies and solutions to promote diversity, equity and inclusion and professional development within the world of marketing and communications. Previously, James-DeCruise held the position of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Marcus Thomas, a Cleveland-based independent marketing communications agency, and Vice President, Global Head of Multicultural Marketing and Inclusion at MediaMath in New York.

As Chief Equity Officer of the Ad Council, the nation’s leading producer of social good communications, James-DeCruise will report to President and Chief Executive Officer Lisa Sherman. Working closely with senior leadership, James-DeCruise will initiate, advocate for and evaluate the programs and practices that foster a more diverse and inclusive environment, including overseeing and evolving the organization’s existing commitments to racial justice.

“The Ad Council is unequivocally committed to fighting systemic racism and injustice, both within our organization and in the work we do to reach and motivate the American public,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO, the Ad Council. “I am thrilled to have Elise join our team and welcome her leadership as we accelerate our efforts to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace and society.”

“Having the opportunity to join the Ad Council as the first Chief Equity Officer is humbling, exciting and rooted in hope for our community, our industry and the next generation of leaders,” said James-DeCruise. “This work is truly at the intersection of my passion for community building, advertising for social good and my longstanding commitment to the advancement of equity and inclusion across the workforce, workplace, marketplace and community, and I couldn't be more excited. I look forward to supporting everyone across the organization as we partner together to create psychologically safe and brave spaces and deepen the connections between our work and our values."

James-DeCruise holds a Master of Science in Instructional Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Robert Morris University. Her awards and accolades include recognition by Forbes as one of the top “Female Leaders to Watch” in tech; by IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) for Excellence in Education 2019; by Ad Exchanger for Best Education and Tools 2019; by Chief Learning Officer (CLO) Awards 2016 for Strategy; and by Chief Learning Officer Awards 2016 for Innovation.

The Ad Council

The Ad Council has a long history of creating life-saving public service communications in times of national crisis, starting in the organization's earliest days during World War II to September 11th and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy and, most recently, leading the industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its deep relationships with media outlets, the creative community, issue experts and government leaders make the organization uniquely poised to quickly distribute life-saving impactful information to millions of Americans.

The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge. The non-profit organization brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology and marketing to address many of the nation's most important causes. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk. Smokey Bear. Love Has No Labels.

The Ad Council's innovative social good campaigns raise awareness, inspire action and save lives. To learn more, visit, follow the Ad Council's communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.

Ad Council Media Contacts

Ellyn Fisher:
Ben Dorf: